36 Festive Easter Dinner Menu Ideas (Yep, There's Glazed Ham)

And lamb, too.

March 23, 2022
Photo by Rocky Luten

There are many things about Easter that I look forward to, from dip-dyeing hard-boiled eggs to heating up Peeps in the microwave. But one of my favorites is sitting down to dinner with my family, which isn't something we necessarily do every day.

Whether it's a classic glazed ham served alongside roasted green beans, or deviled eggs and a leg of lamb slathered in neon-green mint jelly, there are plenty of traditional Easter favorites that the whole family will love. This list of our 36 best Easter dinner recipes has it all—including some new dishes you might want to add to your spread, too.

Our Best Easter Dinner Ideas

1. Super Simple Glazed Ham

A glazed ham is an Easter dinner classic, and this contest-winning version hits all the right sweet-tangy notes without hitting you over the head with sugar.

2. Leg of Lamb With Garlic Sauce

Lamb, another Easter favorite, gets a very garlicky upgrade in this recipe—and by garlicky, we mean 30 cloves of garlic (seriously).

3. Lemoniest Roast Chicken

You don't need much to pull off this supremely roast chicken that's all about the citrus. In fact, pretty much everything you need is in the title (lemon and a whole chicken for roasting, plus butter, salt, and pepper).

4. Spring Vegetarian Cassoulet

This vegetarian-friendly cassoulet, starring cannellini beans and artichokes, can just as easily go vegan simply by substituting the butter for olive oil.

5. Carrot & Potato Gratin with Parmesan & Thyme

This lightly herby carrot and potato dish proves that gratins don't need to be reserved just for winter.

6. Spring Vegetable Panzanella with Poached Eggs

We love this panzanella (aka bread salad) for highlighting all the best produce that hits the farmers' markets come April (and all the bread, of course).

7. Pasta with Prosciutto, Snap Peas, Mint & Cream

This quintessentially spring pasta calls on all the bright, fresh flavors you associate with warming weather, like peas and mint (plus cream, because it never hurts).

8. Glazed Spiral Ham With Apricot Jam & Dijon Mustard

This is basically just glazed ham, with a twist. (Get it? It's spiralized.)

9. Pan-Fried Lamb Chops With Minted Pea Salad

If you're new to cooking lamb chops on the stove, consider this very easy method (complete with a spicy-minty marinade) your go-to.

10. Frittata with Spring Greens, Parmesan & Pancetta

If your idea of Easter dinner is actually Easter brunch, whip up this fluffy, vegetable-packed frittata and serve it with some mimosas.

11. Lemon-Oregano Leg of Lamb

A regal piece of meat, like a leg of lamb (or even roast chicken or salmon), doesn't need too much fuss—just a simple blend of Meyer lemon zest, dried oregano, garlic, and crushed red pepper.

12. Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto & Burrata

Don't let those carrot tops go to waste! Use them in a nutty pesto for topping the roasted carrots you were going to make anyway.

13. Jane Grigson's Celery Soup

This bright green celery soup makes a wonderful starter for a larger Easter dinner meal, or a light-yet-satisfying main.

14. Roasted Potato Salad With Mustard-Walnut Vinaigrette

This isn't your average potato salad, starting with the fact that the potatoes here are roasted instead of boiled, which adds a bit of extra texture to what can sometimes be a mushy dish.

15. Caesar-Style Kale Salad with Roasted Onions & Ricotta Salata

Kale gets the Caesar salad treatment in this recipe, and as such, has all the things you hope for: crunchy croutons, a flavor-packed dressing, and bacon.

16. Oven-Braised Buttermilk Chicken with Za'atar

Buttermilk and za'atar work together to make an incredibly juicy, flavor-packed braised chicken that requires at least an overnight marinating session.

17. Ham, Gruyère & Caramelized Onion Galette with a Fried Egg

Get all that ham flavor without having to roast a whole gammon in this cheesy, fried egg–topped galette.

18. Absurdly Addictive Asparagus

Over 300 rave reviews can't be wrong—this absurdly addictive asparagus belongs on your dinner table this Easter.

19. Heavenly Oatmeal-Molasses Rolls

A great meal isn't complete without some dinner rolls to spread copious amounts of butter on. Our recommendation: these lightly sweet, ultra-tender oatmeal-molasses rolls.

20. Virginia Willis' Deviled Eggs

These deviled eggs make the perfect start to an Easter dinner, mostly because you can hard-boil and peel the eggs up to a week in advance, and make the filling up to a day ahead.

21. Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Tart

The crust on this caramelized onion and mushroom tart is partly made from whole-wheat flour, which adds a nuttiness to the dough that complements the veggies nicely.

22. Ottolenghi's Lamb & Pistachio Patties With Sumac Yogurt Sauce

Here’s a modern way to incorporate lamb into your Easter feast: Ground lamb is the base of these succulent patties, flavored with pistachio, arugula, and garlic. Yottam Ottolenghi recommends serving alongside a simple arugula salad.

23. Ina Garten's Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken

If you want a whole chicken on your Easter table, look no further than this version. From unofficial roast-chicken queen Ina, the Barefoot Contessa nails it again with this recipe. The bird roasts with lots of lemon that caramelize until the slices become sweet, tart, and totally delectable.

24. Honey-Butter Pork Chops With Rhubarb Sauce & Herby Peas

Author Grant Melon calls this recipe "peak spring on a plate." I love the way it celebrates spring produce while putting a creative spin on the classic combination of pork chops and applesauce.

25. Ham Quiche With a Cheese Cracker Crust

Editor Rebecca Firkser’s quiche with cheese cracker-crust is a playful way to get ham on your Easter table. The salty, silky filling is delightfully encapsulated in a crunchy, buttery cracker crust.

26. Whole Roasted Cabbage

Cabbage is an unexpected and surprisingly sophisticated option for a "large-format vegetable" or vegetarian main dish. Humble cabbage transforms into a caramelized, meaty perfection after some time in the oven and a basting of flavorful miso-lemon butter.

27. Rhubarb Coffee Cake With Cardamom-Ginger Crumble

Between its tart rhubarb jam and deeply spiced cardamom streusel topping, this spring coffee cake emerges perfectly balanced. It’s completely delicious and the ideal ending to any spring feast.

28. Warm & Gooey Citrus Pudding

This zesty citrus pudding is somewhere between a cake and a mousse. As many reviewers have noted, it can easily be adapted for any citrus you have on hand: lime, orange, or grapefruit. It’s light yet gooey, melt-in-your-mouth smooth, and best served warm, fresh from the oven.

29. Meyer Lemon Cheesecake With Biscoff Crust

Dinner wouldn't be complete without dessert, right? This Meyer lemon cheesecake makes the most of citrus season, while it's still here.

30. Erin McDowell's Strawberry Not-So-Short Cake

This towering strawberry not-so-short cake from star baker, Erin McDowell, is certainly the most showstopping way to finish off any Easter dinner.

31. Neva Tee's Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is an Easter essential, and this recipe from community member, Mary Catherine Tee, is so good it even won a blue ribbon at the North Carolina State Fair.

32. Cookie Butter Blondies

If you love eating cookie butter all on its own, you'll go wild for these cookie butter blondies, which are perfectly tender and dense.

  33. Italian Easter Pie

When it comes to cooking for the holidays, the trick is to do as much in advance as you can. Fortunately, this pie benefits from home cooks who get a head start on the prep work. Make the pie the day before Easter, then keep it in the fridge overnight, so the meats (sausage, prosciutto, ham, and salami) and cheese (so much cheese) have time to set.

34. Sesame Lamb Pie

This less traditional take on Easter lamb is a winner for a couple of reasons: First, the filling and crust can both be made a couple of days in advance, which means you only have to worry about assembly the day of. Second, it’s so, so delicious. The filling is made with lamb shoulder, which braises for a few hours with sesame oil, red onions, scallions, ginger, garlic, sambal oelek, rice vinegar, and soy sauce.

35. Harissa Lamb, Beans & Garlicky Greens

This Easter, we’re taking advantage of a less popular cut of lamb: lamb breast. “The high ratio of fat-to-meat makes for a super-tender, rich roast,” writes recipe developer Coral Lee. This cozy stew takes a little while to put together (and by a little, we mean over eight hours of hands-off prep time), but Easter is the time to pull out all the stops.

36. Basque Braised Lamb Shanks With Espelette

If you don’t want to serve the same tired rack of lamb with mint jelly, give this recipe a try: inspired by a traditional stew from French Basque Country, this one calls for lamb shanks, two types of peppers, and Yukon gold potatoes. The vivid red hue is all thanks to piment d’Espelette powder.

Which recipes would you like to add to your Easter dinner menu? Tell us in the comments below!

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Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Food52.